A. - Basically, Microsoft frequently sends out updates to the operating systems (XP, Vista, 7, 8) that help to update or "patch" areas of the system that are weak, faulty, or vulnerable to hacking, and are areas a hacker or malware may target. XP has been around for 13 years and Microsoft is no longer sending out updates to patch any glitches or vulnerabilities. This means that now your computer may have more problems functioning and is more susceptible to attacks. Essentially, if you use the Internet with your computer, your computer is in jeopardy. Microsoft is also not providing technical support for people having issues with XP.
Q. - I have antivirus software. Won't that save me from any security problems?
A. - Anti-virus software is a good start, but in this case, the vulnerabilities are not something an anti-virus software will necessarily be able to protect you from.
Your antivirus software may even mess up your system if it is not XP-compatible. For example, Microsoft Security Essentials recently came out with an update that, once downloaded, has wreaked havoc on XP systems. The solution? Uninstall Microsoft Security Essentials. Although not intentional, this problem illustrates the need to update to a newer version of Windows.
Q. - I’ve heard Windows 8 has lots of problems, is this true? Should I use Windows 7 instead?
A. - The short answer is no, read on to see why.
Every new operating system has issues when first released to the public. These problems are best revealed by lots of people pushing buttons and seeing what happens. In the case of Windows 8, a lot of the bad press it got was from people who were not familiar with how to use the new “Metro” or “tile” interface. Windows 8 was designed to function similarly on different devices, most of which use touch screens. The idea was that if you were using your Windows phone, switched to your Microsoft Surface Tablet, and then to your Windows 8 desktop, you could have the same experience on each one. The problem with that is that each of these devices are used differently; what works good on one doesn't always work as well on another. So if you’ve been using a keyboard and mouse for years, and you suddenly have a new operating system designed for touch, you might find yourself lost.
The other major change was the removal of the Start Menu. Microsoft recognized this mistake and will be releasing a new update later this year to replace it. In the meantime, we have software options that create a Start Menu in Windows 8, and you never have to see that new interface again! Unless you have a very particular piece of software that is completely incompatible with Windows 8, there’s no reason to avoid it.
Q. - Do I need to have a touch screen to use Windows 8?
A. - Nope! While Windows 8 is far more touch friendly than Windows 7, you don’t need to have a touch screen. A touch screen can be useful and fun to use, plus many laptops include them now.
Q. - So if I want to upgrade, can you help me?
A. - Absolutely! We can help you purchase a new computer with Windows 7 or 8. We also offer factory refurbished computers; these systems are usually off-lease computers that have been used in an office environment and are a great choice when faced with a limited budget. Another option is installing Windows 8 on your computer that currently has XP on it, but this is often not cost-effective, given the age of most systems still running XP. Contact us today to discuss your needs!